Looking for a sweet game for your junior high ministry…that involves desserts?
Here you go! The game is called “Keep Your Fork”.
It includes a lesson on “Experiencing God” and is based on Psalm 34:8.
Enjoy the game!
– Nick Diliberto, Junior High Ministry
Jr High Game: Keep Your Fork
Topic: Experiencing God
Bible: Psalm 34:8
4 dry erase markers
4 dry erase boards
Samples of 5 or more desserts (set out single servings ahead of time, at 4 per type of dessert)
Optional: copy of the children’s book Green Eggs and Ham
Optional: Bulk amount of mini Rice Krispie Treats to be able to give one per student at the end of the lesson
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
*As should be stated with any activity involving food, be sure to warn students with allergies that this will not be a game they should volunteer to play.
Pick out five or more desserts that students would easily be able to identify. And pick out one that may be difficult for them. Then make or have those desserts made and divided into single-serving portions.
For our example, we are using: chocolate cake, rice krispie treats, cookies-n-cream ice cream, apple pie, chocolate chip cookies and either Norwegian School Bread or Chinese Coconut Rice Pudding.
This is a great opportunity to involve some parents in a unique way. Pick a few parents who are known for their baking or desserts and ask each of them provide one of the above desserts. Give your more talented and/or adventurous ones the last option. To help you out, we’ll provide recipes here for school bread and coconut rice pudding.
Have one blindfold per player. This would work well to divide your group into four teams and have one representative at the table per team.
Place the desserts in a hidden area or inside an opaque container before the game so they are easily accessible but not visible to the students.
Have one leader blindfold each player.
Then, one at a time, place the dessert in front of them and help them taste it. Give them 30 seconds to taste again and decide what the dessert is. Then, have them whisper to their respective leader what they believe it is. The leader will write their answer on the board. When time is up, take off the blindfold and reveal their answers.
Repeat this process with a new student for each type of dessert you have. Hopefully, most of the students will guess each of the desserts correctly until you get to the last one.
Say: Anyone else hungry after watching all of these students eat?
Me too! Those desserts looked – and I’m guessing tasted – delicious!
Ask: How many of you believe you could have guessed almost all of these desserts correctly?
How many of you would have had trouble with the last dessert? (How many of you still don’t know what that is?)
Say: Most of those desserts are familiar to us because we have had them before. And these aren’t things we have tried just once. More than likely these are desserts that you have had multiple times.
(And knowing you as junior highers, you probably eat more than just the recommended serving size each time you get to have it!)
So you don’t know these desserts because you have watched a cooking show or some dessert videos on YouTube.
You aren’t able to recognize these because you have played a game or used a dessert app on your phone.
And you don’t know them because they are something your parents or friends told you about.
You know them because you have tasted them before. You have experienced the joy of getting to smell, taste and digest these wonderful sweet treats!
And the last item stumped you because this was not a dessert you had tasted before. You didn’t know about it. You had not experienced it’s flavor and texture before.
This is the point God makes in the book of Psalms about Himself. Check this out.
Read Psalm 34:8
“Taste and see that the LORD is good.”
Say: At first, this seems like a weird verse. How do we “taste” God?
But that’s not what this Psalm is saying.
The writer is similar to “Sam-I-Am” in Dr. Seuss’s book Green Eggs and Ham. (read an excerpt if you have it)
His point throughout the book was simply to convince the other main character, (who is never named), to just try or taste the green eggs and ham. Sam-I-Am is convinced that if he will simply try them, he will most likely like them. In the end – spoiler alert – the unnamed character tries them and actually likes them!
It was through his experience of eating this strange breakfast food that he discovered how good they were.
The writer of this Psalm is challenging us to experience God, to live the way He wants us to live, to pray, to read the Bible, to learn more about God by doing life with Him. And his challenge is that by doing so, we will find out through our experience just how good (major understatement) that God is!
That’s our challenge for you today. What can you do this week to “taste” God – like maybe reading the book of John and watching what you learn about God as you read about Jesus. Or look at how Jesus and others pray and spend time praying yourself. Our challenge to you is that if you will take the time to experience God, you will find out just how good He really is!
Let’s pray. (pray)
BONUS: End by handing out a simple dessert, like prepackaged Rice Krispie Treats that you can buy in bulk from a store like Sam’s Club or Costco.
Written by Mike Sheley
Mike Sheley is the Middle School Pastor at Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana, where he oversees their ministries for 5th-8th graders. He’s been in full-time youth ministry over 16 years with most of that time focused on 5th-8th graders.